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December 24, 2016

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I love these rules - but around here it would take a rather long road trip to find a tree to cut down with your own hands. Right up into the Cascades or maybe the Blue Mountains, so at least 2-3 hr drive up into the snow zone. Also, our parish has a 10:30pm Mass, so you have to drive to the next city over to get a true Midnight Mass (which we have done). I have to admit, I'm learning to love the done-by-Midnight Mass...

We decorated our tree on Christmas Eve. I think (given that we can't cut ours down with our own hands here in the semi-arid steppe inland NW) our tree would be happier if we bought it sooner than we usually do, and just steeped it in a nice pan of water for a few weeks instead of leaving it standing in a lot for those weeks.... It's less than a week old, as far as we're concerned, but was totally crispy before I even got the lights on.

It's so good to have family traditions! Huzzah!

I'm a sucker for traditions and rules too, though I'm thinking a little differently after this year.

A tradition (Christmas Eve movie in the theatre) born of having the day off, no traveling, and nothing really to do until an evening church service doesn't really translate well to a situation where people now have to travel to be together, and have 5 (? At least 4) different Christmas Eve services to attend/serve/sing at, starting at 5 pm.

Your sequences intrigue me! Over the years I've tried to teach our kids to wait, and pause, and ooh and ahh. I want to savor it ALL, for as long as possible. We're getting there. ;) Merry Christmas!

We get our tree on the third or fourth Saturday of Advent and decorate it on the following Sunday. I can't handle the stress of decorating a tree on Christmas eve. I don't know why that seems stressful, but it does. One more Thing To Do. I like to spread out my Things To Do a little more so as to keep my own level of anxiety in check.

I've only cut down a tree once, when I was in college and spent the week before Christmas with my best friend Stephanie's family in Mandeville Louisiana. It was fun to experience other family's tradition in a situation where I felt no need to imitate it or adopt it as my own.

Since marrying my Sicilian we have heartily adopted fish for Christmas eve, even though its not a tradition he grew up with. I figure we're getting in touch with family roots, though. But we just adopted St Nicholas bringing presents at his feast because I liked it when my grad school roommate's mom send socks and candy for us all. Adopting new traditions can be fun.

We do rounds of presents on Christmas morning and then again at Epiphany. We go youngest to oldest and everyone has to watch and ooh at the present before the next kid takes a turn.

Midnight Mass is the best Mass and I was so happy that this year all seven of us got to go for the first time all together. Last time we took all the kids we didn't have Lucy. And Anthony didn't remember it at all.

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